January 21, 2018

Bar Soap Deal for OCC Shoeboxes

I wanted to share about a deal I got last year on Dial Soap for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  There is currently this printable coupon available, you should be able to print two on your computer. 
The link to this coupon is my referral link, and I'll be compensated if you print coupons through it.

Save $1.00 on TWO (2) Foaming Hand Wash, Liquid Soap Refills, and/or Bar Soap (3-bar or Larger)

I've found at my local these three packs at my local Dollar Trees you should be able to use the coupons on (you can see Dollar Tree's coupon policy here):

That works out to less than 20 cents a bar.   Sometimes there is confusion with using printable coupons at some Dollar Trees.  My suggestions are: print the coupons on normal quality, not fast draft (as I often do with coupons) to be sure they'll scan better, be ready to explain the small print of the coupon saying "off any 3 pack", and personally I always carry a printed copy of Dollar Tree's coupon policy. Of course, one should also be prepared to be polite and take no for an answer. 

There is also this coupon (affiliate) for 6 packs or larger that might lead to a good deal at another store. 
Save $1.00 on ONE (1) Body Wash and/or Bar Soap (6-bar or Larger)

Saving Star (if you are unfamiliar with Saving Star, you can see here for more info from one of my other blogs)  also has a deal out right now, and you can combine a coupon and Saving Star (affiliate)
Save $1.00 on any ONE (1) Dial® or Tone® Body Wash or Bar Soap (6-Bar or Larger) Offer excludes trial and travel sizes.Expires 2/10/2018.Save $1.00.

DisclosureThis post contained affiliate links and I will be compensated if you print a coupon after clicking on my links, this helps me afford the time to write this blog and keep up the Facebook page.  But, I only share affiliate links for items I think would be good for shoeboxes, and fellow shoebox packers.  Most the time it will be things I've personally reviewed or packed.

January 15, 2018

Giraffe Themed Operation Christmas Child Shoebox for a Girl Ages 2-4 Years Old

One thing I always pack in shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child is stuffed animals.  Normally I go with Beanie Baby sized.  But sometimes there's a bigger one I want to send, like this giraffe.  Then you have to get creative to get it and everything else you need/want to send to fit.  Because when we make a themed Operation Christmas Child shoebox, we don't leave out anything on our basic packing list-I still put in hygiene, school, and art supplies, clothing, whistle, etc as well as toys (including a ball and stuffed animal) with a family photo.  We just try to find versions of what we are putting in that goes with the theme and occasionally an extra item or two. 

While I just had the stuffed animal originally, I found a lot of "theme stuff" to go with it, just from shopping our shoebox "stockpile"   I had plastic scissors that kinda looked like one, plus stickers, pad of colored paper with one on, and a giraffe print pencil!  Plus orange washcloth, turtle figurine, and kaleidoscope.  I thought the lion...albeit in an odd way, went with the theme, too. 

Often people find it helpful to see how the box is packed to fit everything in, so here's some photos of how these items fit in the shoebox.  I couldn't fit it in a GO, cardboard box, but it fit well in the new, official, plastic box.

For more ideas/fun boxes, check out other shoeboxes we packed for 2-4 girls or our themed boxes!

January 13, 2018

Donation ~ OCC Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 1/13/2018

Well...I didn't buy anything for our shoebox stockpile this week, but thanks to a surprise package from my grandparents-full of little model cars!  50, plus signs!  Yay for others coming along side us!

We also have been re-organizing/going through our decorations...fund some cute, unused stuff that would be great for shoeboxes!

January 11, 2018

Report from Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Distribution in Southeast Asia

On this blog I mostly write about packing, shopping, crafting, etc. for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, but I thought it'd be encouraging to share some shoebox distribution stories, plus I love to get more ideas and feedback on things to include from first hand reports.  I've never been on a distribution, but I recently got to the chance to interview a couple that was able to take part of a distribution in Thailand about a decade ago.  I believe it to be a somewhat sensitive country for the gospel , so while I will share the story and photos, I won't share any names, exact locations, or exact year.

>>About how many kids were at the distribution(s) you attended?
At least 100

>>Please share a little about your trip and the distributions:
They went to the country on a trip with a group from their church to help teach an English as a second language school.  While there, they met a someone doing outreach to Muslims.  He had gone to the Muslim school for Muslim children more than once.  He had arranged to take shoeboxes to the school and invited some others to come with him to distribute.

The children came out and sat in rows on the concrete ground in groups and patiently waited for their boxes.  The ten people in the group took turns handing out the boxes as the children came up one by one to get their box, then went back and sat down in their row holding it and waiting for everyone to get their box.  Then they all opened their boxes at once and got to look at what they had received.  They were very excited, but stayed in their groups.  Once they had got the chance to look thru their boxes, they put everything back in and went to their classes. 

Those who had handed out the boxes then got a chance to share in the school classrooms.

>>What's your favorite memory?
For the wife the best memory was the card they saw in a number of boxes with the church name and "we do this in the Name of Jesus" for the husband it was how orderly and disciplined the kids were. 

>>What item(s) did you notice the kids really enjoying and/or needing?  Maybe something you'll be adding to or emphasizing more in your packing it the future?  Is there anything you personally won't be packing as much in boxes in the future based on what you saw?

 The husband pointed out they had not interacted with the kids that much and their boxes or in the home, and were not as needy as some.  The wife felt that socks and balls were great as were sandals as whatever climate feet need protection or shoes.  She thought that Hotwheels might not work great in the dirt, but the husband points out that it could be what the kids really prize. 

Let's keep packing, so they can keep sharing!

REMINDER: this advice is just based on one person's opinion based on their personal experience in one country.  This is not official from Operation Christmas Child whose guidelines are the only thing incumbent on us to follow and are based on thousands of distributions in dozens of countries over many years and based on feedback from local partners as well as customs regulations.  These regulations are different for different sending countries, so be sure to check out the rules for your own country/region (OCC USAOCC CanadaOCC UKOCC AUOCC Japan, etc.). 

January 6, 2018

OCC Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 1/5/2018 ~ Of Washcloths and Whistles

I had got a $10 off $10 or more JCPenny coupon in the mail in early December, but didn't have a store handy to go to.  So, I decided to hold on to it for Free Shipping Day.  And it worked!  JCPenny had free shipping on any order, and I found washcloths on sale.  I had to wait for the to get off back-order, but in the end, I got three packages for just over $2, including tax!  EDIT: I just found out something cool.  I went through SwagBucks like I always do, and got back $0.20 in SB, what I didn't know was they were having a special promotion-so I got a bonus $5 SB back, too!  It's like I made money buying the washcloths!!!

I also recently tried ordering from AliExpress for the first time, sadly only one 10 pack, of the eleven I ordered arrived, but on contacted the seller, the re-shipped, so I ended up with a bonus 10 pack, and the wait didn't matter as I didn't need them yet! 

Spent from shoebox packing budget: $11.54  
Added to Swagbucks account:  $5.20

Saved $38.48
Saved thru sales:  $16.48 
Saved through discount code/coupons: $11 
Saved through buying in bulk:  $11 

January 1, 2018

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox for 10-14 Year Old Boy- 2017

My dad is in charge of packing most of the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes we pack for 10-14 year old boys.

If you'd like ideas for other ages be sure to check out my posts on OCC shoeboxes from this year for: Girl 2-4Boy 2-4Girl 5-9Boy 5-9, & Girl 10-14. 

NOTE: Different countries have different restrictions on what can be packed in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox due to customs-no candy or toothpaste in the USA going forward.  Be sure to check the guidelines from your national organization before packing!

We like to try to add something practical in this age that might help them help provide for their family or start on a career, as in these countries they often need to around this age.  Something like a fishing kit, small tool kits, hand gardening tools (but not seeds), etc. In addition to more advanced school supplies like compasses and protractors to help them stay in school as these are often required for higher grades.  Of course, if you follow this blog, you know all our boxes get at least basic hygiene and school/art supplies, a clothing item, a ball, a stuffed animal, and a couple other toys.

What went into the OCC shoebox gift (Items with ** are on the list of "Wow" items):

  • Hygiene Supplies:
  • School Supplies:
      • Pens
        • 2-Red
        • 2-Blue
        • 2-Black
        • 1-Gel 
      • Pencils
        • 6-regular
        • 2-decorative 
        • 1-mechanical with extra leds
      • Highlighter
      • Sharpener 
      • Eraser
      • Spiral notebook 
      • Math kit
      • Desk plate with maps, etc.
      • Pencil Bag 
    • Art/craft supplies Supplies:
      • Colored pencils 
      • Plain paper pad 
    • Practical items: 
      • Tote bag
      • Safety pins
      • Flashlights
      • Tool kit
        • Screwdriver with different heads
        • Screws/bolts/washers
        • Mini zip-ties
        • Tape measure with level
        • Bag
    • Clothes:
      • Hat
      • Shirt
      • Gloves
      • Socks 
    • Toys 
      • To play noisily or others
        • Ball
        • Plastic Recorder Flute **
        • Whistle
        • Marbles 
        • Chess & Checkers game
      • To play with quietly alone
        • Punch Balloon
        • Ballons
        • 3D dinosaur puzzle
        • To "love"
          • Stuffed Puffin**  
      • Personal correspondence (not pictured)
        • Family photo  

      I know one of the harder things for me in packing a shoebox is getting everything I want to send to fit, and sometimes it helps to see how it fits, so here's some photos of how it all fit (for more ideas on making things fit, check out my making it fit series:

      Here are more examples of shoeboxes for 10-14 year old boys if you're looking for more ideas!

      Disclosure: Links on Simply Shoeboxes may be affiliate partners or referrals.